Three days after Pope Sixtus II was martyred in August 258, his deacon Lawrence followed suit. The Emperor Valerian had ordered all bishops, priests and deacons to be executed immediately; since Lawrence had charge of the monies for the Church in Rome those were demanded of him, in response to which he gathered the poor and presented them as the treasure of the Church. It was to them that he would have distributed alms so often and he remains beloved in the Eternal City. Second to the Blessed Virgin Mary, there are more churches dedicated to St. Lawrence than to any other saint.
Several stories about his death have circulated since the fourth century. It is alleged that as he was being burned to death over a gridiron, the holy deacon said “I’m done on this side. Flip me over.”
As the inhabitants of that peninsula say:
se non è vero, è ben trovato.
In other words, if it’s not true, it should be.
He has been the patron saint of cooks for longer than there’s been an internet, so that proves it.
Read more about him in The Catholic Encyclopedia.